back to article iPhone apps - the 10 smartest and the 10 stupidest

The soon-to-be-released iPhone 3.0 software will offer a slew of new capabilities to iPhone developers. With that sea change in mind, we thought now would be a good time to take a look at the highs and lows of the current crop of apps for the iPhone and iPod touch. Not merely the best and worst, but rather two Reg-ratified Top …

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Region-centric

It's a shame Pandora and Kindle are US-only apps (not mentioned in article). I was hoping for a more universally accessible list.

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Kindle

Could you please stop posting articles about Kindle on the iPhone and how fab it is when your core audience (i.e. uk readers) can't get it???

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UK apps would be nice

It would be nice if El Reg.co.uk would feature apps that are available in the UK, ie not the kindle app.

London bus/ tube deluxe are cool. The Borat app looks terrible.

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Wooo! Button

My nephew LOVES the Wooo! Button app - he is 2.

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Jobs Horns

Is there an index of decent apps anywhere?

It would be nice to browse a list of decent (or at least vaguely acceptable) apps, like this top ten but more emcompassing. If only Apple would filter out the crap... and no, the 'featured list' does not do this job sufficiently.

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Happy

Eucalyptus

Can't get Kindle in the UK? Then get Eucalyptus. It's better too!

http://th.ingsmadeoutofotherthin.gs/eucalyptus/

=:~)

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PANDORA

Pandora is the only application that makes me wish I had paid for an iphone and expensive data server... wait, nevermind.

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... if they had...

if they had a bullshit-button instead of that wooo-thing i'd buy me an iphone just to run it.

not.

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Anonymous Coward

WinAdmin

May I suggest WinAdmin instead of Logmein or Mocha VNC. Standard RDP client for Windows, v useful (5.99 I believe)

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What - no Ellatron?!

Seriously - the best keyboard instrument on the iPhone by a country mile, and not a mention - come on guys! Get groovy!!

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Jobs Horns

Had me going...

After seeing iKissMe at number two I was fully expecting number one to be iBlowJobs or, using the accelerometer data of course, iTossOff. Let me guess, these actually exist but not on iTunes.

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AppJail

We need a moron app like the Wooooo application which has the irritating smug oxygen thief who says "there's an app for that" on the Apple AppJail adverts. He really grinds my gears.

Partly cos he never adds "it'll cos you a fortune and eat any data plan you've mortgaged your kidneys for". Nor "why not jot your notes down on a bit of paper, or look up your destination on a real map".

I've got one called "they saw me coming". Its just $6.99 and its exclusive to the iPhone.

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Three of my favourite apps

Gazette - Google RSS reader.

WunderRadio - radio app.

qTweeter - (jailbroken iPhones only) the easiest and quickest way to update your Twitter and/or Facebook status.

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Happy

iphones got talent

Campaign starts here:- Jared to win Britain's Got Talent. The hours of mindless fun I had in OS 9. Welcome Back!!

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@AppJail

What data plan Nick? have you ever bothered to read the iPhone data plan? in the UK it is free data therefore app downloads and use is included in the monthly package.

Have you tried carrying a worldwide street level map in your pocket? can it search and tell you where local facilities are?

Why use a phone at all if you're that keen on non-electronic solutions. I suppose your keep a carrier pigeon handy for sending messages to people?

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@ Ian Ferguson

http://iphone.iusethis.com/

Not 100% comprehensive, but it certainly makes finding the better of the bunch an easier task.

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Stop

ftp on the go.....

Wait, you are using source control, right?

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Paris Hilton

well...

just when i think iTards / appletards cannot sink any lower in to the great tard lake - along comes el reg and proves me wrong...

Paris - cos you are all tards together

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ftp == excuse to buy on expense account

ftping to an iphone, editing and ftping back sounds like a pretty dodgy thing to do.

If some server config file needs fixing, I seriously doubt that it is going to be effectively fixed by a pissed pub-tard squinting through a little screen with his mates shouting. "Naah mate, it's 'rm -rf '/" .

But it's a nice line to use on the boss if you want the company to buy you a shiny new phone.

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Pocket brick

Too expensive

Too restrictive

Too fragile

Too Apple

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Anonymous Coward

@ftp on the go......

Source control? Web designers? LOL!

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Happy

Great app

Yea i agree with the "why show Apps you cannot down load in the UK"

My favorite pointless App at the moment is iTeaseMyBoss as it is very funny

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Re: @AppJail

>Have you tried carrying a worldwide street level map in your pocket?

Bloody stupid argument, why would anyone want to?

>can it search and tell you where local facilities are?

I generally use my eyes for that, you should try it. Instead of squinting at a poxy screen look up and around, you might be surprised at what you see.

>Why use a phone at all if you're that keen on non-electronic solutions.

Exactly, that's why I don't have one of any description. I don't understand all this reliance on electronic gadgets I can get by more than adequately using my built in sensors which for the best part are still more or less functioning correctly.

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N

Thank God

I dont work with the boring bunch of posters most of you lot seem to be, Its just a bit of fun to brighten up another day!

I had to get IFart or whatever its called, I know its very, very childish but, I dont think I have sniggered so much following a Reg read.

& as for the sensible ones, I have some of them as well - honest.

Thanks El Reg for the article

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So....20-odd reasons NOT to buy an iPhone

And anyone using an iPhone (or anything else) to make changes in production that have not been peer reviewed, unit tested, through quality assurance and are not in source control should be up for the sack.

That's probably why the production system went tits up in the first place!

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LogMeIn

It's a shame that LogMeIn is such a rip off, when you have to pay subscription aswell (unless you just use a free account I guess). I use LogMeIn to access my home pc from work and vise-versa, but why would I download this for 30 bucks when I could just us VNC for free?

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iPhone vs Windows Mobile

LogMeIn - needs a proprietary client, costs $30 plus a subscription.

VNC - free server, free client, works just fine on WinMobile. Along with PuTTY, which you can use to dial in and switch on the VNC server as required. ;-)

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Jobs Halo

It must be Monday

Another fairly pointless Apple article to wind up the anti-Apple "fanbois". Fish. Barrel.

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@Joel re: LogMeIn

It's true that the LogMeIn app is expensive but you you don't need to pay a subscription as well, the free account does everything that you'll ever need. In any case, things like transferring files and remote printing which you get with paid subscriptions are irrelevant with the iPhone client.

And yes, you can use VNC for free but the only half decent VNC client for iPhone (certainly the only one that supports SSH tunnelling) is Jaadu VNC which costs almost as much as LogMeIn anyway.

I have both and now prefer Jaadu VNC over LogMeIn (it's a lot faster) but nothing beats LogMeIn for simplicity of setup and out of the box security (VNC is only secure over an SSH tunnel).

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@Michael Brown

-> I have both and now prefer Jaadu VNC over LogMeIn (it's a lot faster) but nothing beats LogMeIn for simplicity of setup and out of the box security (VNC is only secure over an SSH tunnel)

VNC over VPN is also secure - and the iPhone has VPN support built in. Actually reponds faster than a naked connection, presumably due to data compression, so definitely worth a try (even at a basic PPTP connection to a Windows machine)

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@ Giles Jones

"What data plan Nick? have you ever bothered to read the iPhone data plan? in the UK it is free data therefore app downloads and use is included in the monthly package.

Have you tried carrying a worldwide street level map in your pocket? can it search and tell you where local facilities are?"

I take it you are aware just quite how much data costs as soon as you leave the shores of Blighty ? And that the iPhone has a horrible tendency to be continually using the data services ?

Having just racked up a £200 phone-bill in 2 weeks whilst in New Zealand (not using an iPhone, just using the phones modem for e-mail checking on my laptop), I dread to think what an always on iPhone will happily spend of your money.

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What about the spirit level

I love the spirit level in the TV Adverts, it looks great, it's ingenius.

But, the iphone costs how much to replace, a spirit level from B&Q costs 99p.

Can you imagine it, your building a brick wall, brick dust and cement everywhere and you can't find the level... Just get the iphone out of your pocket.

Or perhaps more practical for the twats that own one, you have just twatted the Lambo and the frame's a bit out of shape. Just gaffer tape the iphone to it and get the sledgehammer!

Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!

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To all the anonymous cowards

Thank the lord the 'tards' are back with their wonderfull comments, I was starting to miss 'em.

PS. Anyone seen Brewster around recently?

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Coat

@Chris W

So, without any 'reliance on electronic gadgets' and using your 'built in sensors', you can not only read, but submit comments to El Reg articles? I am truly impressed.

I had to use a computer and a keyboard (and a mouse!), luddite that I am...

Mine's the one with the black and white TV license in the pocket (and no, I'm not an MP...)

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Re iTossOff

AC wrote:

> Had me going...

> After seeing iKissMe at number two I was fully expecting number one to

> be iBlowJobs or, using the accelerometer data of course, iTossOff.

There is an app that uses the accelerometer to count press-ups. I think you stick it to your back (gaffer tape not included) and it bleeps when you've done a hundred, or something.

So I was considering using the same technique for sexual performance measuring. "Did the earth move for you? Well, according to iSexStats, we reached a peak of 0.003 on the Richter scale at t=8 mins." It could plot graphs and do fourier analysis and stuff. And record your personal best. And compare with previous partners. No, perhaps not the last of those.

Sadly, since Apple won't even approve an ebook reader because you might use it to download a victorian text-only Kama Sutra, there is little prospect of this idea making it to reality.

I now have 4 apps on the app store; of these, two are proper useful things and two are jokey. It slightly restores my faith in humanity to find that the "proper" apps sell much better (and at a much higher price) than the stupid thought-up-in-the-pub ones do.

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@AC 26th May 2009 12:34

>So, without any 'reliance on electronic gadgets'

Gadget: : an often small mechanical or electronic device with a practical use but often thought of as a novelty

I hardly think a desktop computer falls into the definition of a gadget, so yes I did

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Anonymous Coward

Not exactly a comprehensive list of top ten smartest...

No iCab mobile (the best mobile browser available on any platform by such a long way it is laughable to call anything else a browser)?

No OmniFocus or Things?

No AnalyticsApp?

No National Rail Enquiries?

No NetNewsWire?

No apps from TapBots (WeightBot or ConvertBot)?

Including Kindle instead of Stanza?

Etc, etc...

Quote: "Having just racked up a £200 phone-bill in 2 weeks whilst in New Zealand (not using an iPhone, just using the phones modem for e-mail checking on my laptop), I dread to think what an always on iPhone will happily spend of your money."

Put your (i)Phone in Airplane mode to turn off the data aerials then turn on Wi-Fi and you have an "always on" iPhone that will cost you nothing other than the minimal fees for Wi-Fi access at a cafe or hotel (and Skype charges if you want to make any calls). You would have to be a complete fucking tool to use any phone abroad in any other way, without having first purchased a data package that would let you do so at reasonable cost.

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Happy

Jared

While Jared is staggeringly pointless and yet strangely amusing, you completely overlooked Freeverse Software's single greatest asset: their side-splitting documentation.

Also worth a peek (though just on a Mac, not an iPhone): SimStapler. If you don't have a Mac to run it on, just read the docco. The program itself is just as pointless as you'd think.

Smiley because he's the nearest approximation to Jared.

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Happy

Some other good stuff

Bolt, fast and "discreet" web browser, maintains no history and turns off almost instantly, not sure why you would want something like that though ;-)

Sky Remote - pretty useful if like me you are late setting off on your journey home and want to record something, just call up your sky planner and click record, hey presto it is waiting for you when you get home

Have to agree with Shazam, I have bought more music because of this app than anything else. Hear something you like, dont know what it is and 20 - 30 seconds later you know all about it and get a link to buy it

OK, I sound like a fanboi but I only bought the iPhone because a mate of mine at work was selling his 2g when he upgraded, our works phones are 02 so I could just slip in the SIM and give it a try. I own no other apple products and would NEVER have bought an iPhone on the restrictive 02 contract but I have to tell you that this is the best consumer electronics product (that can make & receive telephone calls) that I have ever owned

Yes, it has many, many faults if by faults you REALLY need MMS, cut & paste etc (soon to be fixed I think and if you have the right apps then anything is possible I beleive)

Restrictive App Store - So I can be pretty much assured that the program I am downloading doesnt harbour all sorts of nasty virii waiting to steal all my info. Fair enough, you want to be able to download everything you want for free. You can still do that, jailbreak your phone and get on the Warez sites, it can still be done.

DRM infested music - as far as I am aware the DRM is no longer in place? (I am probably wrong but I'm not bothered because I only listen to it on my phone / PC)

Biggest complaint? the inbuit "speaker" please, they might as well have just not bothered, might be OK for conference calls but for listening to music, forget it

Just my 1.63c worth

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Bod
Jobs Horns

Re: LogMeIn

and if you used a Windows PC, LogMeIn is even more of a rip off as secure encrypted Remote Desktop is built into the OS! (okay Home editions need a little more effort to enable it, but it's there).

RD is damn fast too with low bandwidth compared to insecure slow VNC.

Failing that though there are other free options, and cross platform, such as NoMachine's NX.

Anyway, on the topic at hand. I'm mightily impressed by the vast array of useful and productive apps in that selection (tounge firmly in cheek here). I must rush out and buy an iPhone immediately and fill it with fart apps.

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Hrm, pocketbrick

...Too expensive? $199 is the core price for any comperable device. Yes there are smartphones cheaper, but they either suck, lack core features, or the "cheap" apps start at over $5 each and are limited to a mere handful of about 2,000 choices, and the good apps all cost $19.99... AT&T's plans are about $15 a month higher than equivalents on average, but the TCO of the device over 2 years, it's not out of line... Verizon and Sprint may have better plan pricing, but they also nickle and dime you $3.99 for ring tones, make it a pain to sync data, charge aditional fees for GPS use and streaming TV, in the ned, their plans are often more expensive, even including the unlimited tiers. I pay $69 a month for my iphone, get 200 texts, unlimited data and I have a bank of unused minutes several months deep. Factoring in even the 50% of the apps I COULD have bought (not counting the one's I can't) on Win mobile and Blackberry combined, I've spent $42 total on iPhone apps, the WinMobile equivalent would have been over $320. My $.99 iPhone ringtones would have cost me nearly a hundred bucks from the competition. I can't imagine what the MMS messaging savings were (at $0.25 per message on the competition, much of the time i had an iPhone unlimited plans including MMS were not an option from the competition). Also, AT&T and Apple are announcing price drops on the 8th... btw: when i bought the iPhone, i looked at ALL the other options. Even at $400 for the phone at the time, 2 year TCO on my plan saved me $300 over the 2 years vs buying the closest cheaper competitor. It;s all the "additional" charges for "optional" features that you REALLY need to investigate before you spread FUD. might be different in your country, but in the US, iPhone is one of the cheapest TCO smartphones ever made.

...Too restrictive? 43,000 apps, nearly half of them free, and you can jailbreak it? Name ANYTHING that comes close. ...and it works with Macs, PCs, and Linux. ...and tell me Verizon doesn't lock down their devices! I had a motorolla that ON THE BOX indicated bluetooth sync, PM3 playing, A2DP, and more, ALL DISABLED by Verizon, and only enabled by MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION, even on their unlimited plans... again, back off the FUD train pal.

...Too fragile? I've dropped mine a hundred times. I've ripped the headphones out more than that. I've got dings in the corners, scratches on the casing, and it's 100% perfect. I even dropped it running in the rain, screen side down, stepped on it, and there's not a scratch in the screen... It's singularly the most durable handheld device I've ever had. I'm 22 months into my contract, and I expect for the first time in my life to have a device live all 2 years of it's term, and I plan to hand it off the the wife when the gen3 phone comes out next month and think she'll get a good year out of it. I don't use a shell on the phone, just a clip-in belt clip. I don't even use screen protectors. Even the battery life is 90+% of original... still plays MP3 8+ hours straight, makes a few calls, and collects e-mail all day, and I can play a game yet for a while before I get the 10% remaining alert around 9PM each night. You objously have never actually HELPD an iPhone in your hands and been satisfied by it;s strenght of build. Yes, you CAN break the screen if you do something utterly stupid, name another full screen touch phone that isn't equally or more fragile... For christs's sake, it lasted 4 seconds in an indistrial blender before it finally broke!!! (will-it-blend? barely....)

...Too Apple? I don't know what that means... More people use an iPhone with a PC than with Mac OS. It's the single presented design everyone is trying to match. If you mean the aesthetic design, lack of crashing, stability and fluidity of the interface, and overall finish of the design, feature and function, well, if you're not keen on that go f* yourself and deal with your cheap, plastic, crap, Windows, Symbian, or other worthless OS phone.... I've had them all over the years (work insists on giving me worthless smartphones that crash incessently and loose any data not stored on external cards. I spend about 2 hours a week maintaining those damned devices, i spend NO time maintaining the iPhone). If you're referring simply to the fact that since Apple makes it, you'll never buy it, then you should have disclaimed yourself a technology biggot somewhere in your post. Not buying something because of who makes it, especially when they're the NUMBER ONE rated company in overall consumer satisfaction is simply moronic.

You're probably one of those idiouts who allways votes republican because you allways have, and completely ignore the fact that the new millenium democrats more resemble the republicans of the 50s than the republicans do now... You don't buy apple simply because everyone seems to love them.

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@ Michael C

You'd have to be an idiot to vote Republican in this country.

Or spend money on a phone.

Personally, I'm still waiting for that mobile-app-shaped hole in my life.

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Heart

The Shaggs

Thanks for that. If I learnt nothing else of use from this article (and I didn't) at least I discovered the existence of The Shaggs. In the words of Dot herself: -

"I have started a song about Pain inspired from knee pain but will probably be turned into a love song."

Respect.

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Impressively underwhelming

I already don't want an iPhone (to the dismay of my wife and bafflement of most of my acquaintances, who snapped the damn thing up), but this article certainly made me want it less. Those are the best 10 applications for the self-appointed Greatest Gadget Ever? Out of some 40,000?

Shazaam is moderately interesting for its technology - it'd make a decent CACM article - but I think actually using it would be a wash: less "what is that song?!!" frustration, but less pleasure at hearing a dimly-remembered song from long ago and learning what it was by happy accident. What comes too easily is cheapened.

As for the rest - I don't think I'd bother installing them if they were free.

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Dollars?

The prices in dollars? Really?

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Bod

iPhone still missing one decent killer app

A *quality* equivalent to Nokia Sports Tracker. It's worth owning a Nokia for that alone!, especially as it can sit in that thing called "the background", shock! ;) (and run in parallel to other GPS apps running at the same time).

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Pandora

Wanted to check this out but guess what because of some jobsworth - ITS NOT FRICKIN AVAILABLE IN THE UK... !!!?!!?!!!!!

FAIL. FAIL. FAIL...

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@@AppJail

Does the iPhone come with a world map in it? or does it cost? how good is it? will it tell me where the nearest go-go bar is in bangkok or should i just ask someone walking past? is the data plan world wide?

Just asking because my phones 10 years old and i was looking to up-grade, a friend of mine got one at the weekend and for the money and contract he has to pay, i think he was ripped off?

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Flame

Original Crazy Frog?????

Heathen Hack!

THIS was before jamster used the sound - AND it was actually funny: http://butifnot.tripod.com/racecar.html

For the history: http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2005/01/the_evolution_o.asp

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Tom
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Admit it! You're just pissed somebody else is collecting the $5/shot

for the burning candle download. Probably has a patent on it too.

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